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Besides its natural beauty, its unique architectural structure has been developed by the civilizations that have lived in South West Anatolia for thousands of years. From here, you make an incredible boat trip on the Koycegizlake with the natural perfume smell of orange flowers and sweet gum trees accompanied by the presence of the four seasons on the skirts of the Mountain Sandras. With this boat trip, you will see the CarettaCaretta greeting you while you admire the magical beauties of ancient Caunos city with the Dalyan canal’s natural plant covering. Continuing this boat trip by listening to the Koycegiz folk music and bathing in the ancient Sultaniye spa water and discovering the mysterious beauty in mud baths, and now you can leave yourself to the cool waters of the Mediterranean on the World famous Iztuzu beach.
Koycegiz is a peaceful retreat. The people living in Koycegiz take a pride in the social and local tradition reflecting eating and drinking cultures with a well developed infrastructure. Koycegiz is also famous for its walking in the recreation areas by the lake and no traffic lights in the town center. In the province, coal is not allowed to use for heating to prevent any air pollution in the winter We are a town suitable for the Cittaslow philosophy with a population of under 50 thousand people living.
The town of Koycegiz, located within the boundaries of the Mediterranean and Aegean Regions, is a quiet touristic area with rich natural beauties including gum tree forests and citrus gardens with a distance of 60 km to the Mugla through Fethiye Highway. Koycegiz is surrounded by the high mountain ranges in the north and north-east and by medium-high mountains and hilly areas in the east, south and west. The area between the Koycegiz lake and the sea looks low and flat with four small lakes and numerous canals. The coast consists of a 5950 m long sandy band. The western part of this band is lined with the natural canal connecting the Koycegiz Lake to the sea and the eastern part with mountains extending up to the sea. The names of the geographical places on the coast are as follows: Bozburun -Aksanmevkii-Kizilagac-Eski Maden Iskelesi, Yilancik island-Derez (Dereagzi) –Kizilburun-Koycegiz Korfezi-Kuçuk Semerci-Buyuk Semerci-Karacay-Ekincik Burnu-Ekincik Yalisi-Kargicak-Marmasina-Liman Sirti-Maden Iskelesi-Akiye Burnu Dalyan strait, Yan Suyu Akburun Mevkii-Selvi ve Buyuk Kara Koycegiz basin and its surroundings.
The history of Koycegiz dates back to 3400 BC. The first civilization lived in this region was the Carians. Then, Scythians, Assyrians, Ionians, Dollars, Akalar, Persians, Hellenes, Seleccans, Romans, Seljuks, Menteşe sons and Ottomans became the rulers of this area. The first information about the history of Koycegiz was given by the historian Herodotus, the geographer Strabon and the British archaeologist Hoskin. In 2000 BC, the new colonies were established on the coast by the Greeks and Akalar entering the Aegean coast by sea, and the inner part of the area was occupied by the colonies of the Carians. Thus, the town around 1000 BC reached a very good position. Where the Koycegiz lake merges with the Mediterranean, Kaunos city became one of the important ports and trade centers of the Carians. Acropolis, famous temples, Harab and Susan castles are the important historical monuments in the area.As for the name of Koycegiz where it comes from. According to the legend, Koycegiz was founded on an basin, which was the lake's surface at the time. In an unknown time, the basin was flooded with water. When disaster-stricken people saw a few houses and people in the eastern part of the lake stayed alive, and they said: "The whole city was sunk, and only a very small village (Koycegiz in Turkish) stayed on the shore". Today, it is still believed that a sunken city is at the bottom of the lake.
The village of Koycegiz became a municipality in 1882.
Historical Tourism (Archeology)
1- The Caunos Ruins: The city's Agora Stoa Roman Bath, founded by the Caunos, was unearthed with the excavations of temples, amphitheater, harbour and castle walls.
2-Akkopru: The bridge was built by the Romans in the 3rd century AD. It is 33 km away from Koycegiz, 30 meters high, 50 meters long, with two arches and a tripod. It is known as the only bridge connecting the Aegean to the Mediterranean in ancient times.
3-Gedova: On the exclusion of the Jews from the religious wars by the Christians, one of the Jewish people escapes to Gedova. The name of this island, which was first called as "Jehovah", now remains as Gedova.
4-The Koycegiz Island: There is a church and city remains related to the settlements.
5-Pazar Mountain (Otmans): The remnants of the settlement in the area.
6-Cay Hisar: Monasteries and caves.
7-Asar Castle: (The place where the television transmitter is located) there is a watchtower belonging to the Romans.
8-Ağla Village (Yayla): Rock tombs and the remnants of the Roman settlements.
9-Koycegiz: Idris Baba, Nasuh Dede and Benliler Tombs were dated back to the periods of Beylikler.
10- The Tombs of Sheikhs (Sheikh Hasan Dede Tomb): The tomb belongs to the period of the Ottomans. The Sheikhs Mosque was in 1957. The mosque’s internal walls are decorated.
11- Sultaniye village and baths.
12-Koycegiz Village: The Ali Pasa Mansion and the fountain were built towards the end of 1800s.
13- Visiting gateways at the summit of Cicek (Flower) Father and the Olemez (Can’t die) Mountain.
14-Mahya (Esen Yeri) Recreational Area.
15- Imbros Castle (Roman Period) at the Olemez Mountain.
16-Zaferler (Hacı Bey mosque) and tombstones.
17-Haci Bey Mosque in the town center.
18-The old houses and mansions in the Koycegiz center: The buildings belonging to the first periods of the Republic of Turkey from 1928 to 1935 are registered. Many of them are restored and occupied presently. (The dates of construction of these buildings are written on outer gates in a relief style).
Economy; 85% of the county population live in the districts of Koycegiz and their livelihood are made through agriculture, farming, forestry and tourism. The largest source of revenue for the county is the agriculture sector. The polyculture has been cultivated in the county, and the climate and the geographical structure are suitable for growing many crops as well.
Another source of livelihood is nomadic beekeeping. The mullet fish production is carried out in the Dalyan strait, which connects to the Mediterranean Sea. The trout plants have been established in the Beyobası district and they continue its production.
There are 3 citrus washing, waxing, standardization and packaging plants in the county and the international exports are made from these plants. In addition, there are 2 drinking water bottling factories in our county. There is also a factory carrying the name of Ilcen, producing agriculture tools and machines.
About 5% of the local population provides direct subsistence from forest products (primary-secondary) production. Almost all of the population is indirectly dependent on the presence of forest in the region, production of fish, tourism, farming and some olive cultivation.
The livelihoods of the people are agricultural activities as well as tourism and citrus fruits, vegetable cultivation, cotton and sesame.
Olive Groves; The olive groves are classified as the 4th class land. Alluvial soil consists of 17.62% of the land. The rich fertile soils are formed by the materials washed down the hills and carried down by rivers.
Olive oil; There are 3 olive oil production facilities in Ekincik and 1 olive oil production facility in Zeytinalani. Olive oil is obtained by subjecting the harvested olives to various stages of processing. These stages consist of three basic processes from the ancient times to the day-to-day crushing (crushing), squeezing (pressing) and decomposition (decomposition).
The olive oil was produced by olive processing, stone mills, hand mills, olive mills and then press sleeves and screw press systems in closed areas or room workshops such as rock workshops in Anatolia and the ancient town of Koycegiz.
One of the traditional methods for oil removal is referred to as "footoil" or "bellyoil" among the people.
The footoil is made by turning the olive grains by the stones called millstone, which is pictured above, into the dough with the cylinder stone called "yug" which is turned by animal or human power, and the obtained olive paste is put into the bags and later pressed by wooden trays called "sampan", "sehrana" or "sirampan".
Today, the traditional oil extraction such as footoil is very rare to see. Generally, olive oil is produced in hydraulic presses
Koycegiz Oranges-Tangerines-Lemon-Pomegranates; Koycegiz is the biggest producer of citrus in the Aegean region. Citrus is also one of the agricultural products exported from the region. The lemon, orange, grapefruit, and mandarin, pomegranate and tomato are the most exported agricultural products abroad. The most export is done to Russia, France, Germany and Romania. When the Koycegiz oranges were compared with the same type of oranges produced in the Antalya region, it was found that the Koycegiz oranges were superior in terms of fruit characteristics and orange quality parameters (the Directorate for Antalya Western Mediterranean Agricultural Research Institute).
Pine Honey and Citrus Honey
The pine cotton louse sucking the juice out of red pines and honey bees take this juice and turn into honey in short time. This is called as the Basra pine honey production.
Beekeeping is an important source of income for the local people. This region produces pine, citrus, shrubs and thyme honeys. In addition, plenty of bee milk and pollen is obtained.
Presence of Slow Food presidia (address of Slow Food policy and Convivium leader’s name and surname, tel. e-mail)
Indications of one or more requirements and/or Projects already implemented among the most significative ones which express of being Cittaslow.;
ORGANIC VILLAGE: "Candir Organic Village Project" in the Candir district of Koycegiz officially became an organic village by the certification body of Mugla Provincial Directorate of Agriculture in 2013. So, the Candir village became one of the four organic villages in Turkey. In this organic village, vegetables and fruits such as pomegranate, orange, mandarin, lemon, and honey are produced properly.
Today archeological Caunos Lion represents Koycegiz and Caunos Golden Lion Film Festival is held every year in Koycegiz.
The International Yaşar Sevim Universites Beach Handball; The tournament has become a tradition on the beach of Koycegiz Delta in the second week of July, every year with the cooperation of University Sports Federation and Koycegiz Municipality, and this tournament has been done for 19 years. The Koycegiz Municipality Handball Team plays handball in the First League of Turkey.
Earthly Heaven Koycegiz Bridge Playing Festival; Playing bridge aims to spread the bridge play as a sport in the Koycegiz Festival which is held every year for 22 years, Moreover, this playing prevent depriving the people’s cultural activities and also increase their cultural interaction.
Oil Wrestling; Koycegiz oil wrestling, known as Kırkpınar of the Aegean Region, is held in the Hıdrellez during the first week of May. More than 30,000 people watched gold belt wrestling competitions throughout the day.
Hidirellez Cultural Festival; At the Hidrellez cultural events, traditional middle games and forgotten arts exhibitions and traditional games and competitions are held by young people, children and adults. It takes 3 days to celebrate the traditional games and arts with various entertainments and concerts in order not to forget and to bring them to future generations.
Motor Festival Organized by Aegean Passenger Magazine
Every year, motor enthusiasts come together under a social theme and it is also a festival for a sightseeing with a purpose of promoting Koycegiz. This very festival welcome motor enthusiasts to meet and have fun together in Koycegiz.
Orange Flower Cycling Festival ; Koycegiz is a festival area where orange flowers are bloomed in the spring season. Cyclists as nature lovers enjoy unforgettable beauties on the bicycle roots of Koycegiz. The festivities end with fun concerts.
Cycling is repeated in the autumn of the same year. This time, while enjoying the autumn season, cycling lovers enjoy the beauty of history and nature in their bicycle roots for 3 days.
Autumn Days Cycling Festival
Koycegiz Ramadan Event
During the month of Ramadan, traditional local games like Hacivat-Karagoz (Shadow Game), Meddah, Asuk -Masuk and various entertainments are displayed in every night where handicraft workshops and children's entertainments and games are exhibited along the Koycegiz promenade after the iftar. The Municipalities and non-governmental organizations make up the iftar dinners in turn during the month of Ramadan.
Ottoman houses local products Market
Traditional Ebru Art Studio
The traditional Christmas market by the help of Koycegiz municipality has been held for foreigners residing in the Mugla region selling their souvenirs for the Christmas preparations. The last year was the biggest Christmas market held in Turkey. The number of visitors in the market exceeded over 20.000 people . Approximately, 500 different stands exhibited in a carnival atmosphere. Following the various activities of the residing foreigners, Father Christmas (Santa Claus) visiting the market and handing various gifts to the people and other activities contributed a joy to the Christmas market.
Organic Public Market
Koycegiz is such a place with its healthy food, trees with their fragrance, gentle people and warm conversations, different types of houses, fun events, daily life forms and interesting stories from the past, lakes, weddings and military ceremonies, agricultural activities and tourism.
Foreigners’ Second Hand Market; In the Mugla region, the foreigners association and the Koycegiz municipality organize a second hand market on the last Sunday of a month and every month for 4 years.
Tinning; In Koycegiz, tinning is still alive. The tillers who come to the People's Market and they work in mobile shops by using the traditional methods and they transmit this tradition to the next generations.
Blacksmithing; Even though the number of blacksmithing is very small, many agricultural and domestic tools are still being made with iron forging.
Basket weaving; 40 or 50 families living in the Koycegiz 's Beyobası neighborhood still make baskets known as the tobacco baskets.
Rug Weaving; Rug weaving is a traditional hand craft that is found in almost every village in Koycegiz. The products such as rugs, saddlebags and prayer mats are made in hand weaving, which are made using completely traditional motifs, which are made with rope obtained from the wool of the sheep and goats from the villages and the wool is died in the root dye, which is of great interest to tourists today. The colors and patterns of the rug motifs obtained are different from those of the traditional Turkish motifs, as they are formed by the patterns evolved by the design of their imagination world. These rug textiles contribute to the livelihood of many housewives.
Broom Making; There is a broom maker in every village. The master craftsman who makes the brooms of the villages by hand meets the needs of the village people. In addition, these traditional handcrafted products continue to be a source of livelihood within this technological world as they are sold in local markets.
Hammock Making; The district of Beyobasi in Koycegiz is a hammock production place for the tourism enterprises Hammock knitting has recently made a contribution to the household economy by these handmade products. Besides this, handmade products are the products of women in the region who are used to carry their children on their backs when these mothers do house and field works.
In the Koycegiz town center, handicrafts are very important for people. The handicraft production is taught by the Public Education Center. Women learn to produce many things such as tiles, ceramics, sewing, paintings, reliefs and mosaics. Women also have a opportunity to exhibit and sell their handicraft products in Hanimeli Market and Second Hand Market in Koycegiz.
Koycegiz is famous for herbal dishes. The dishes made with yoghurt in Koycegiz are generally called '' Borani '' as well as '' yogurtlama ''. Besides the vegetable dishes, hibiscus, gazyak, devetabani, köremen, sea lily dishes with yoghurt are also very popular in Koycegiz. Fresh edible leaves of gum trees, wild grasses and mushrooms are very delicious indeed.
Ashure (Noah’s Pudding); In the month of Muharrem, ashure is made in homes and is distributed to neighbors free. The collective distribution of ashura has also been popular in the recent years.
Lokma; It is one of the common customs to prepare, cook and distribute freshly prepared lokmas to gatherings, especially on the day of Qandil or after a death, or circumcision celebrations.
Koycegiz style sour chicken, chicken broth soup, mixed herb meal, menevic, imam bayildi, fish pilaki, wrapped wine leaves, mushroom and pumpkin pastries, daily yoghurt, pumpkin meatballs etc. are some examples of the Koycegiz local dishes.
In addition to these dishes exemplified, Koycegiz also offers local delicacies such as eel, blue crab, meze stuff and many other appetizers in the Koycegiz restaurants.
The bread varieties in the region are plenty such as fermented bread, Akitma, bakery bread, Corn bread, spinach, herbal pastries and a traditional pastry called as Katmer.
Koycegiz fruit jams are also very famous with its varieties like citrus jam, orange marmalade etc..
Koycegiz Traditional Wedding and Mevlut Dinners
Chicken Sour Soup
Olive Oil Dried Beans
Chickpeas with Meat
Eggplant, Green Pepper, French Fries (with garlic yogurt)
Stuffed Mixed Eggplant, Pepper and Pumpkin with mincemeat
Village Chicken Keskek
Even though baklavas are made by the wedding owners themselves, neighbors and relatives give baklava trays to the wedding owners as presents. Today, these rituals are still going on. The trays are decorated with flowers and net by the person who will give the baklava as a present. On the day of the wedding, the bride, groom, their friends and relatives go to the house to take the prepared baklava tray with drums. The wedding house prepares the packages with small gifts. When the tray is taken by dancing, the package is given as a gift. Such customs still takes place in Koycegiz.
Koycegiz offers tourists a chance to taste the local dishes by women opening their own restaurants. Such businesses are increasing day by day in the town center. In these enterprises, a wide range of home-cooked meals are made by housewives and sold in boutique style establishments. In Koycegiz, domestic and foreign tourists are more interested in these kinds of local small restaurants. As time goes by, such businesses are increasing in every neighborhood.
Eel and Blue Crab
When you think about Koycegiz, the first thing coming to your mind in terms of food is the eel fish from the Koycegiz lake. Another thing is that not eating a blue crab in one of the region's restaurants would be a real loss. These two delicious marine products are absolutely on the almost every menu. Even at a daily boat trip, these food would be offered to taste at the trip lunch.
Pomegranate (Punica granatum), consists of hundreds of grains forming small cores and fruit bodies from the Lentraceae family, is a kind of fruit that grows in mild climates, and tastes slightly sour and sometimes sweet.
In Koycegiz 's citrus fruit production, there is a variety of citrus fruits in taste. Juice is squeezed by a special method from pomegranate. In Koycegiz, pomegranate juice produced by these special methods is registered as a brand. Candir pomegranate juice is an organic pomegranate juice, especially produced in Koycegiz.
When the name of Koycegiz is mentioned, orange juice comes to one’s mind. Seeing the road side orange and orange juice seller would not be surprising. Especially, the Koycegiz orange producers offer freshly squeezed orange juice along the road.
Kamil Ceylan - Mayor of Köyceğiz
Halil Karanfiloğlu - Representative Cittaslow Köyceğiz